Where the West visited the East
Nov18

Where the West visited the East

When Tommy Wilson said he was ready to jump out of a plane with a Bible and a shovel to help earthquake victims in China, he was only half joking. “They ran out of parachutes,” he said. The junior Christian ministry and business major may not have gone skydiving during his stay in Hong Kong, but he believes he served God in a big way. “That’s something every Christian can do without a seminary degree,” Wilson said. He packed up after his sophomore year at UMHB and moved to Hong Kong, China, for a year of missions. “I felt God calling me there,” he said. “The opportunity was there, and I felt I could meet the needs of the people.” Wilson’s main focus was youth ministry, which he had done before in the United States. He organized weekly youth services on Fridays and also led mission trips to India, mainland China and a summer camp shortly before he returned home. He happened to see filming for the summer blockbuster movie The Dark Knight, in which Batman jumps from Hong Kong’s International Finance Center Tower, but Wilson kept focused. “We did a broad range of things, and all of them had youth involvement,” Wilson said. Senior recreation major John Mark Harvey visited Wilson in Hong Kong and watched his ministry in action. “Tommy really adapted well to a culture and language different from anything in Texas,” Harvey said. “He had such a servant’s heart; it was incredible. Tommy was all about serving people.” Wilson went to India twice, to a city near the Pakistani border, where he worked with a local pastor to help newly-formed churches in slum areas, churches that were ministering to the needs of the most vulnerable in Indian society. “We went to a school that a church started where they brought in young girls and taught them how to sew, read and write,” Wilson said. “When they left, they would have a skill to support themselves so they wouldn’t be forced into prostitution or slavery.” What impacted Wilson the most, however, was the massive earthquake that struck Sichuan province in China on May 12, killing nearly 70,000 people. He was able to travel to the affected areas two months later. “The amount of destruction was phenomenal,” he said. “Home after home was just demolished. Some entire cities only had two buildings left standing, and even those were so heavily damaged they had to be demolished. There were reports of villages near mountain ranges where the mountains just crumbled down on them; entire villages of 10,000-20,000 people buried under 60 feet of rock.” Wilson welcomed the opportunity...

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Picturesque Pageant: Through the technical hiccups, blinding spotlights and treacherous staircases, contestants demonstrate poise and grace
Nov18

Picturesque Pageant: Through the technical hiccups, blinding spotlights and treacherous staircases, contestants demonstrate poise and grace

The set was reminiscent of a Broadway production as many beautiful and talented women on campus competed for the coveted honor of Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor. For this year’s theme, “Bright Lights, Big City,” the Chapel was decorated with many colorful lights and small cutouts of familiar skylines. Large spotlights lit up the night sky. The 2009 pageant was sponsored by the Campus Activities Board and was a student-led production in which young women on campus represented organizations, classes or resident halls in competition. Alumni judges were asked to rate the contestants based on their interview, evening gown and individual talent performance. “I’m really proud of all of the girls. They did a great job,” Mike McCarthy, director of campus activities, said. “You fall in love with all of the girls, and although it sounds cliché, when the night gets here, you want them all to win. The biggest reward for me is just to see them all do what they do well. Everyone did a great job.” Senior art education major Allison Daniel was this year’s pageant director. “I think (pageant) exceeded every expectation,” she said. “It was really cool after all was said and done, and after all our work, to just sit and watch each of these girls shine.” Daniel said the most common question she was asked during the pageant was who she thought would win. “Honestly, out of the girls we have, I could not pick one,” she said. “Every time I would think that one of the girls was pulling ahead of the rest, all of the other girls would step up and do just as well. I would’ve been pleased with any of these girls as Miss MHB.” This year’s winner, sophomore vocal performance major Brianna Edwards, said she had no idea that she would receive this honor. The McLane Hall representative said her original goals were to meet a lot of new people, make a lot of new friends and hopefully get to learn something in the process. “Now I’m standing on the stage with a heavy crown on my head,” she said. “It’s kind of surreal. I feel like the best description of this moment would be the scene in Talladega Nights when Will Ferrell wins the race and doesn’t know what to do with his hands. It’s kind of like that.” Edwards’ platform was “Empowering Students to Achieve Boldness.” “I want to talk to Shawn Shannon at the Baptist Student Ministry and set up actual courses to teach students boldness before they are sent out on the mission field,” she said. “So many times, students get caught up in this...

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Grad student creates fat loss educational program

By Andra Holbrooks Laura Williams, operations manager in the Mayborn Campus Center, came up with an idea that has turned into a full time job, but unpaid. FATLOSS, Foundation for Altered Thinking on Lifestyle, Overweight, and our Sedentary Status ,came to Williams’ mind through her experience. “I’ve always kind of had body issues, and they started way back in high school,” she said. “Good, bad or indifferent, I was always really critical of myself.” Williams’ undergrad degree is in exercise sports science, and she has learned many of the things one needs to know about weight, body fat and living a healthy lifestyle. Since graduating college, she has worked in the fitness industry. “But I could never quite overcome my own personal issues with myself,” she said. “And this isn’t to say that I ever thought I was totally unattractive or overweight, anything like that. I just was overly critical of my body.” Last spring when Williams began graduate school, a “light bulb clicked. I wanted to get my knowledge out there in a way that would be fun and exciting—and free—to anyone.” FATLOSS is an organization geared toward providing educational information and programs to increase physical activity and healthy living choices in Americans. “All the services provided are offered free of charge because no one should be denied the opportunity for good health,” Williams said. Knowledge is key to living a healthy lifestyle. “With as much information and wisdom that I personally have, that’s distressing when you think of all the people out there who don’t have that knowledge and probably have the same issues or worse,” she said. Pressures are all around society, such as TV stars, magazine beauties, infomercials about quick weight loss and fad diets. “It’s not even about your weight. That’s a terrible measurement,” Williams said. “Body fat testing tells you a lot about what weight really is as a measurement of health and fitness. I don’t ever have to think about my weight as long as I do the things I need to be doing to stay healthy.” Williams is not only concerned for the UMHB community, but for Americans all over. “The goal throughout society has to change. Losing weight, being thin or being a certain size should redirect towards to being a healthy person in general. And when you make good choices to become that person, like getting the correct groceries or doing more physical activity, the other will come as a byproduct of that,” she said. Sarah Peterson, one of Williams’ employees, said, “What Laura is doing is really great. FATLOSS has the potential to change the minds of so...

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New deans are welcomed as Crusaders

This year has been one of change, and changes have reached the university in the form of the new deans in the College of Christian Studies and the Scott & White School of Nursing. Both new faculty members have much experience and plan to bring positive changes to their departments and to the campus. Dean of nursing, Dr. Sharon Souter, arrived at the campus in August and has felt welcome by faculty and administration from the moment she stepped into Vann Circle. She said of her colleagues, “I think the majority have been very supportive. We have an excellent faculty.” The things she has enjoyed most so far about the university are “how pretty it is and that the people are very friendly.” Souter intends to implement some positive change in the School of Nursing. Some of her ideas for the program include instituting a new curriculum and possibly acquiring a new building. She said, “This is going to be the best nursing program in the state — possibly in the nation.” Students have enjoyed Souter’s presence in the classroom. Junior nursing major Meg Roe is taking Souter’s Foundations of Nursing class and thinks that she has a love for the Lord and a desire to mold students into great nurses. “Because Dr. Souter has a passion for nursing education, I know that she will excel this nursing program,” she said. “Numerous changes will take place shortly in the Scott & White School of Nursing, but I am confident that all of these changes will be for the benefit of us, the students, here at UMHB.” Roe commends Souter for her ability to make Foundations of Nursing an interesting class. “Learning the theories and legalities of nursing is generally not very fun, but Dr. Souter brings real life application and excitement to the curriculum,” she said. The College of Christian Studies is also seeing excitement in its new building. Dean, Dr. Timothy Crawford, has big plans for the department and is thankful for the privilege to come into a brand-new building and an accepting staff. “Everybody has been really welcoming,” he said, “I have come into a position where I’m a little higher up the food chain than just a new faculty person, and sometimes there are issues that you walk into, but it has been remarkably smooth.” Crawford took over a program previously headed by friend and colleague, Dr. William Carrell. Crawford and Carrell worked together for a number of years at Crawford’s previous school, Bluefield College. Crawford plans on hiring more fulltime faculty for the Christian studies department in order to help ease the load on professors...

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Outreach extended to community groups
Nov04

Outreach extended to community groups

When it comes to extending a helping hand to Bell County, UMHB is not one to hesitate. On Oct. 25, students and faculty went to 15 locations to provide support to the extended community. The event is known as Reaching Out. It is organized by the Student Government Association chaplains, and it happens once every semester. Tommy Wilson, director of SGA spiritual life, was one of the main coordinators, and he said there is much more than just seeking to help others in need. “The biggest thing that I pray students walk away with is that it is not about me. I hear so many times people say you should serve others. It feels good to help someone,” Wilson said. “The reason we serve is not to feel good but to answer the call and command that God has placed on our lives. I pray that students know that we have been given a lot in Christ. So in the same love, we should give a lot to others.” The planning process for Reaching Out is detailed and comes down to being mindful of others. “We must first stop and seek what it is God would want us to do and from there plan the service projects out. We must think of every possible problem that could happen and how to correct it, then go into it praying for the best,” he said. This is Wilson’s first year to be in the position, and he has been gaining wisdom every step of the way. To him it’s about much more than just planning the event and people showing up to serve. “I am learning in all of this how to be a real servant leader and not just someone who holds a title, but to love the body I work with and lead them along the path of Christ.” Dr. George Harrison, director of student relations and community services, has been a part of putting the project together for the past six years. He is always amazed to see how many students attend the event and is grateful to know that each one has come to serve in some form. “Their time is so valuable, and I know that it is a sacrifice. It’s not only the students, but faculty and staff also,” Harrison said. Since Reaching Out started, the locations being helped have extended to places outside of Belton and have impacted surrounding areas. Reaching Out gives a new perspective and connection to the students, faculty and staff because they are ministering in an entirely different setting. “They are working together for a common goal, and they can...

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Student awarded social work state board position, honor

She is a mother, wife and student, yet time still permits facing the unthinkable challenges. Michelle Tucker is a senior social work major, and this past summer, she received an award that will impact her future career. Tucker was elected to be the Texas student representative on the Board of Directors for the National Association of Social Work. When Tucker found out she had received the nomination, she said that words could not express the gratitude and privilege she felt. “I was overwhelmed with emotion. I didn’t know how to react. I sat on my couch and began to weep with tears of joy. I felt honored and so grateful to be found qualified enough to serve in such an awesome position,” she said. The position was granted to Tucker and it was not something she obtained overnight. There was a process and hard work. Through a nomination, position statements and ballots the time came to view the results. Tucker said, “After the ballots came out, NASW members were given time to vote on whom they thought would be best suited for the position. Finally, the final results came out and my name was on it. I won.” She has been given a chance to influence other students in the field of social work and also to promote being a part of a committee that can benefit the future. “During my year of service, I will attend each board meeting that is held with the NASW and provide input from a student perspective on issues that may affect us now and in the future,” Tucker said. She will speak with students from other universities about their concerns and ideas, then deliver them back to the NASW board. She believes the nomination is something that will also benefit her career. “This award will help me in networking and getting to know others in this field that have already walked in my shoes and have experience   and wisdom about this profession,” she said. It will also add to her resume, giving insight to employers that she is an experienced leader and is willing to serve others. “I will show that I am passionate about the profession and dedicated to doing my best and reaching for higher heights as an individual,” Tucker said. There have been several people in her life who have left lasting impressions on her, including her parents, husband and professors. She said, “I will never forget them, no matter where my path leads me.” This fall Tucker has been working on her social work internship at Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Evalua-tions. She said it has been a wonderful...

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